Mr Ellis, who famously lived in Park Avenue in Mrs Long’s constituency, died on Saturday aged 82. He was best known for roles in Z-Cars and the ‘Billy’ television plays alongside Kenneth Branagh.
With tribute being paid to Mr Ellis from many walks of life and across the political spectrum, Alliance MP Mrs Long said the Early Day Motion, due to be tabled today (Thursday), would mark the ‘significant contribution’ he made to stage and screen.
“Jimmy Ellis was a proud East Belfast man who never forgot his roots in this part of the city. Likewise we were immensely honoured to have an actor of such great talent and renown hailing from our streets.
“He was often credited with being the first person to popularise the Belfast accent on national screens and certainly that is my first memory of him – hearing the same brogue that I heard in the streets of Belfast on my television screen.
“The EDM is to pay tribute to a wonderful actor, a generous man and someone who was Belfast born and bred.”
Wording of Naomi Long MP’s Early Day Motion –
‘That this house mourns the passing of James Ellis, the highly regarded actor, director and poet from East Belfast who was best known for his roles in Z-Cars and The Billy Trilogy, and who made a significant contribution throughout his lifetime to the stage and screen while always remaining true to his Northern Ireland accent.’